28th Nov 2006

Ech’s review: Goodbye Mr. Wind-up bird

He he I was too lazy to write a review by myself. What for, if someone else has done a fair job and you agree with his/her points?

So this is Ech’s review about this fashionable novel. By the way, good luck to her German, hope that she’ll be able to write something as long as this review in German soon. But I’ll not read it, for sure :-D
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I’m surprised for consuming it real fast, Murakami must be a really good writer or I must be the spoiled child of this fast-food generation (plus the translation is easier than I thought).

Make it quick: I like the book as a reading experience, the book is fairly entertaining unlike the usual Jap writer (like Oe) whom I always have to struggle to finish. Murakami kept me interested throughout. There are parts which seems like a thriller to me, making me curious always. Weird people and stuffs, i thought, this whole business with strange power, flow and clairvoyant, thinking in the well. This web of characters, the zoo, the skinner, the stylish woman, May Kasahara, the brother in law and the cat… This whole vivid universe is presented here by one who certailny has talent for writing, has sharp eyes and imagination, is well-educated with “culture”. The plot is intriguing, characters sometimes seem a bit “forced” but credible with support of carefully chosen details, many sub-plots here and there, skillfully executed in its own, very lovely and affective tales indeed as short stories. All those things bring my expectation to high point, keep making me thingking: all this’s leading to some intelligent structure, some grandeur, some brilliant concept!

As the book’s reaching it end, it looks more and more like that wouldn’t happen. And it didn’t. So what? Something happened in his mind. He found Kumiko by that. Connections possible here and there. Things come clear somewhat. And pretty rough and fast, in comparison to what he builds up to prepare for the experience. Left me with all the question: what’s all these sub-plots and characters doing here? For example: the lieutenant in Cinnamon’s story, “remind me of the other (real) lieutenant”, just’s that? And the solution is just something happening in someone’s mind that has link and consequence to the reality, just’s simple as that? Sound like those kind of movie “this whole reality is constructed in your mind” – movie i like seeing the 1st of its type, by the 2nd I lost interest.

What is the grand concept of this novel as a whole? No, it failed to work as a concept as a whole, it’s rather fragmental. He intends that “fragmental” to be a concept? That in which not everything has clear connection to each other and to the storyline, that life is that ambiguous to figure out, that to reaching the end one has to go through miles of “unessential”. That sounds nice and fit (post-modernist excuse :D), yet I don’t believe that’s his intention, the way he runs to finish the novel to me seems to try to tie the knot, but can’t. If the novel goes this “loose end” way, i would love to see him leave more ambiguity and doubt to serve this concept, nicely cut, however, probably leaving me equally in disappointment for not having anything resolved :D. My conclusion: Expansion -> Out-of-control.

So 860 pages end with some disappointment but the reading through is enjoyable. This is much better than Norwegian wood. For sure this guy is talented with words and story. As always I would expect the writer’s mind to be more brilliant, but they, as always, stop where nice writing caress the mind, stirring up some ectasy and never reaches orgasm, haha, Murakami, I did employ your source of inspiration here :D.

Plus note: looking for some more analysis on Bird, and have to agree with the NYT review, that the ending doesn’t appear as artistic choice (if the concept is the “fragmental concept”, I mean), and THAT, precisely the presence of this CHOICE that makes art intelligent and brilliant, quality to be found in 1 among 1000 contemporary art.

4 Responses to “Ech’s review: Goodbye Mr. Wind-up bird”

  1. FR Says:

    If she writes something in German, of course we will not read it. Not because we can’t, just because German is not “fashionable” in our days ;-)

  2. Hoàng Tử Mèo Says:

    and not French either :D

  3. hoaianh Says:

    ban G bay to thinh tinh them lan nua la em chuyen sang Liebe blog hang ngay bang tieng Duc gio, ah neu ban Hoang ban khoan em lam luon ban song ngu tieng Phap.
    CHi Rain oi kho ghe, German is very fashionable in Germany, even in our days, here even beggar can speak German :D

  4. tidenbz Says:

    em moi doc duoc co 20 trang, don’t know where this story will go but the book cover is so pretty. I usually buy books by their covers

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